London auction house Forum Auctions has teamed up with online antiques platform thesaleroom.com to host a virtual charity auction, selling a one-off artwork by the artist James McQueen.
The 6 foot by 4 foot artwork, inspired by the nation’s outpouring of gratitude for the selfless work of millions of NHS and allied staff, will be sold in aid of the NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.
It will be sold in a video cast live auction at 6pm on Friday 8th May. Supporters of the NHS wishing to acquire this work can now place bids online, in competition with each other. The auction will culminate with a live video-streamed event that will see Forum Auctions’ Rupert Powell hammering his gavel down to the highest bidder.
James McQueen commented on his inspiration for creating and donating the work, “I have been truly touched by the courage that NHS staff have shown during this crisis. It takes a special kind of person to do the job that they do. They are real life heroes. We must commemorate those who have and will sadly lose their lives during this terrible time and to remember how much we need the NHS.”
James’s work can be broadly categorised as ‘Urban Art’, a genre inspired by New York’s 1980s graffiti artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michelle Basquiat and counts Britain’s Banksy amongst its most prominent artists. The painting’s hard-hitting subject reflects the Urban Art genre’s trademark tendency for challenging the establishment, in this case highlighting the debate that has been raging for some years regarding the spectre of privatisation within the NHS.
Forum Auctions’ CEO Stephan Ludwig said, “We are tremendously grateful to James for having created this unique and substantial artwork to raise charitable funds for the NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal. Our public healthcare system is performing absolutely brilliantly and the painting’s poignant message underscores one of the more challenging and unpopular debates surrounding the NHS’ future structure.”
Richard Lewis, COO of Auction Technology Group, which owns thesaleroom.com, added, “This is an inspiring piece of art that captures a real moment in time. It is an honour for us to be supporting the NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal with the auction of such an impressive artwork, which will appeal to a wide range of art collectors and supporters of the NHS.”
James McQueen has previously sold works with Forum Auctions, London’s leading specialist auction house exclusively for works on paper. It is for this reason that the artist chose to partner with Forum Auctions on this exciting project.